One thing we haven't seen change much in Android over the past several versions is the hotspot feature. I'm sure many of us have used it quite often, but it's one of those things that basically works fine as it is.
Left: Nexus 5, Right: Nexus 6
With Android M, however, Google is bumping the hotspot feature up to version 2.0, which includes one somewhat major new feature: the ability to broadcast in 5GHz mode. Read More
There are a lot of new things in Android M, but this is an example of something old made new again. The app drawer and widget picker in the Android M dev preview scroll vertically instead of side-to-side in a series of pages. The last time we had this behavior it was back in the pre-ICS days.
And now, we interrupt our Google I/O coverage to bring you this health bulletin.
Runtastic is one of the few apps that are commendable for quickly - really quickly - adapting to any new Android releases, options, or APIs. Today, the app is keeping its track record of jumping head-first into new features by adding an always-on mode for Android Wear watches.
You don't need to do anything for the function to work - that is if your Wear watch is already on Android 5.1.1, which enables always-on mode for apps. When you start a new Runtastic activity, the card will show up on your watch. Read More
Some people were quite displeased by Google's move to a white system theme in Android 5.0 Lollipop. It can be quite retina-searing in a dark room, but the Android M preview offers a solution. In developer options is a menu that enables a new material dark system mode. Behold.
So you've read our exhaustive review of the NVIDIA SHIELD and decided that it's the Android TV device for you. Whelp, it's available for purchase right now in the US, from both NVIDIA's own store and Amazon.com. The standard 16GB SHIELD is $199.99, but it looks like the SHIELD Pro ($299.99) with its 500GB internal hard drive won't be available until June. According to the NVIDIA Store it's coming on the 3rd, while Amazon says it won't be in stock till the 12th. Read More
Ever since its first release, Inbox by Gmail has been donning more and more features, all priming it for its graduation from an invite-only state to a public release. And that moment is now. Inbox no longer requires an invite for regular Gmail users and Work customers, and has gained a couple of interesting capabilities along the way. Read More
Last year when material design was introduced to the world, Google emphasized that its specs were a living document. Indeed we've seen several updates to the spec itself since it launched, but Google's also paying attention to its overall design presence, as evidenced by today's major update to google.com/design.
The site has been made over with a new grid filled to the brim with awesome content.
Google has added design guidance for TV and Auto, and even added an entire article about branding in material design, something I've written about before here at AP. There are also guides for designing between platforms and a downloadable icon font. Read More
We have already posted a pretty thorough preview of the features coming with the new Google Photos app, but that doesn't mean Google didn't save a couple of surprises for IO. The big bombshell is that, starting later today, users will be able to upload an unlimited number of photos and videos for free. If you weren't using Google as your primary source for photo archiving, this news may give you reason to reconsider.
Your pictures and videos won't be compressed into oblivion either, they will be stored at up to 16MP for images and 1080p for video. Read More
Yes, it's happening. Dot. Gif. Android apps are finally getting state backup in the new "M" version of the OS. The full details are here. The short of it is that Android apps will now automatically back up to Google Drive, up to 25MB per app, with no new code required from developers. This is huge.
What's backed up? Settings and app data, which is to say, basically everything so long as you're not talking about something over 25MB in total size. While this may still mean signing into your apps on a new device depending on the app's security, once you do log in, the concept here is that all your settings and saved app data should just reappear on your new device. Read More
One year on, Google's material design philosophy is still picking up steam. As popular as it's become in the community though, there are still some holes left to fill in terms of implementation.
Until now, developers have had to rely on third-party libraries (in conjunction with Google's own support library) to create elements like floating action buttons, but Google is looking to fix that, releasing a new design support library today that fills in some of the holes. Read More